THE CASE FOR G.P. RACING
Sir, The article of “The Case for Grand Prix Racing” in the November issue was very interesting and on the whole very sound. There are one Or two things,
however, which “Grand Prix” seems to have overlooked. He ignores the deterioration of Grand Prix as a sport pure and simple, since subsidies were introduced. The independent, such as Whitney Straight, had a good chance up till 1934, but now he is nowhere. It is impossible to get a potent car for love
or money. Another aspect, that of orders to “Start and Win” and cars moving off before the fall of the flag, are not pukka sportsmanship.
To compensate for this, of course, G.P. racing has become more spectacular. Personally I would have more sport and less spectacular business. “Grand Prix” is apprehensive lest by discrimination over entry fees, etc., motor racing should become a political issue. Surely the fascist countries, by their whole attitude to G.P. racing, by their state support (direct or indirect), their sport dictators and their lengthy harangues, have already made G.P. racing into
something of a political issue. The whole business is rather nauseating.
I would not say that the German G.P. cars are vaunted beyond their merits, for they are truly wonderful machines ; I would say, however, that to justify the colossal expenditure of their production, they, or rather G.P. racing, must have been exalted to a quite false position of national importance. Anyway, no one else seems to think it is worth spending so much money to win a G.P. The fact remains that originally motorracing, like . fox-hunting, was indulged in as a sport, simply for the enjoyment of the thing. Any commercial value (like the “circulation of money” that one hears as a defence of fox-hunting) was, in the first place, incidental ; whereas fox-hunting remains a sport, G.P. racing, owing to the overwhelming presence of the motor industry, has become rather swamped by commercial and political
considerations. It is still good fun to follow, but not so good as it used to be.
Finally, having quoted freely from my own article in ” Hearsay,” I must crave Editor Turner’s pardon and subside with the cry ” Tantivy, tantivy—vive le sport—and down with the subsidies.” I am, Yours etc.,